Thursday, May 10, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Brett Gardner Suffers Setback With Elbow (UPDATED)

I'm a little late on this breaking story (damn internet was down at the apartment), but via Marc Carig, the bad injury luck continues for the Yankees as Brett Gardner has suffered a setback in his rehab from his right elbow strain.

Apparently there was some soreness and swelling after he played in the Triple-A game last night, which would explain why Gardner wasn't activated today, and he's probably getting an MRI as we speak.  As usual, I'll update this story as more details become available.

I'm really at a loss here.  When is this injury madness going to stop?  I can't take it.

** UPDATE- 6:46AM- According to Joe's postgame presser last night, Gardner re-aggravated the strain in his elbow that put him on the DL in the first place.  The plan is to shut him down for 10 days and see where he's at then, but Gardner will likely be out longer than that.  Dewayne Wise looks like he's going to stick around for a while. **

Shuffling The 25-Man Deck To Make Room For Roster Reinforcements

Had to post that clip.  Too funny not to.

But on a more serious note, the Yankees are going to get a shot in the arm over the next handful of days with regards to their 25-man roster.  They are finally starting to get healthy, with Brett Gardner and Eric Chavez both scheduled to come off the DL either today or tomorrow, and some guy named Andy Pettitte is going to be added to the starting rotation on Sunday.  There's been a recent burst of roster shuffling activity to cover for the injuries to Chavez, Mo, and Swish's missed time, and the shuffling will continue this weekend.

Looking at the active roster, it's pretty clear who the 3 targets for 25-man termination are.  Cody Eppley, who was recalled last week to replace D.J. Mitchell in the bullpen, should get the boot from his low-leverage mop-up spot when David Phelps gets knocked back to the bullpen to make room for Andy.  In the field, Jayson Nix and Dewayne Wise will likely get axed for Gardner and Chavez.  It will be a shame to lose Wise, who doesn't have any options and would have to clear waivers before the Yankees could try to stash him in Triple-A again.  He has hit incredibly well since Spring Training and can play all 3 OF positions better than anybody else left on the Yankee bench, but there just isn't any way that he's getting the nod over the Joneses and Ibanezes of the world.

The Yankee roster has never been the complete 25-man version it was expected to be at the opening of spring camp, and it never will be with a few guys out for the season.  But with the return of Chavez, Gardner, and Pettitte, it will become deeper and have more depth of talent than it has in the past few weeks.

Curtis Granderson's Continuing Power Surge

A while back, I wrote a piece that examined Curtis Granderson's statistical profile for the 2011 season and attempted to predict the likelihood of him maintaining that MVP-caliber level of production moving forward.  My expectation was that he would likely see a regression in his career-high HR numbers, but could still produce at a high level in 2012 with a more selective approach at the plate and a spike in his LD rate to supplement the dip in power.  We're a little over a month into the 2012 season and C-Grand's numbers so far are better across the board than they were last year.  He's currently hitting .274/.370/.581, with a .396 wOBA, 152 wRC+, and ISO and BABIP numbers both north of their 2011 values.  Of his 32 hits thus far, 15 of them have been for extra bases, including 10 home runs.  Granderson started to heat up towards the end of ST and hasn't cooled down since.  He's picked up right where he left off at the end of 2011 and has yet to show any signs of slowing down.

Game 30 Wrap-Up: TB 4 NYY 1

(You're still the best to me, Dave.  Courtesy of The AP)

David PhelpsJeff Niemann,  One night only.  Mano y mano.  Sure it was the undercard to the big "Sabathia vs. Price" battle tonight, but there was still plenty of intrigue surrounding this matchup.  Phelps was pitching to hopefully keep his name in consideration for a spot in the rotation, and the Yankees were looking to get back within striking distance of the division lead against a pitcher who'd been successful against them in the past.

Game Notes:

- Things didn't look good for Phelps in the top of the 1st, when he gave up a leadoff double to Yankee killer in the making Ben Zobrist and walked Carlos Pena on 4 pitches to start the game.  He didn't look sharp and loaded the bases before wriggling off the hook without allowing a run on 28 pitches.

- After that, it was like he flipped an internal switch because Phelps was a completely different pitcher.  He retired the 2nd-4th innings in order on just 42 pitches, spotting his fastball down to both sides of the plate and working from ahead in the count almost the entire time.

- The Yankee double play combo of Derek & Bob were responsible for the first Yankee run of the game in the bottom of the 1st.  Jeter led off with a first-pitch single and came around to score on a 2-out double by Cano, which had the added bonus of being hit the opposite way in an attempt to attack the outside of the plate, something Cano has not done well thus far.

- The only problem with Cano's run-scoring hit was that it was the only one the Yankees could muster.  Niemann was very good after the 1st, allowing just 5 baserunners and no runs over the next 6 innings with 4 strikeouts.

- Of course, a bad offensive night for the Yankees merits a mention of their continued struggles to hit with RISP.  They were 0-8 as a team last night, with 8 men left on base.

- Phelps hit the wall in the 5th and ended his outing just as he started it, by having no command and loading the bases on a double and 2 walks, and it was up to the Yankee bullpen from there.  Boone Logan, Cory Wade, and Rafael Soriano combined for 3.1 IP of scoreless ball, and despite the offense continuing to be shut down, the Yankees still led 1-0 going into the 9th.

- Just when I go and start tooting his horn for him, D-Rob had to go and blow the save in his 2nd consecutive post-Mo opportunity.  It was a bit of a freak occurrence, as the first 2 hitters of the inning got singles swinging on the first pitch and advanced on a poor throwing decision by Swish, but that fastball to Matt Joyce was poorly placed, and I'm sure that won't stop everybody from freaking out today.

- The bottom line is that Robertson had been LONG overdue for an outing like last night's, and it sucks that it had to happen when it did.